Welcome BOS members and all interested in birding Western New York and Niagara Peninsula of Ontario!

featured bird photo
Snowy Owl © Sue Barth

Scoping January

The new year begins and so do all the 2017 year lists! Now is the time to get out and find any of those rarities that were uncovered during the Christmas Bird Counts. Those who use eBird can watch all their newly submitted checklists autofill their new year's county and state lists. If you do not have an eBird account, why not make that a resolution! It's easy and you are adding valuable data as a citizen scientist! The BOS statisticians frequently pull data out of eBird for the monthly noteworthy records column in The Prothonotary newsletter.

Great Horned Owls are vocalizing this month as the birds begin nesting. During your birding outings, check old Red-tailed Hawk and Crow nests, they may have been repurposed by a Great Horned Owl! It's always exciting to see those ear tufts sticking up above the edge of the old stick nests!

Goat Island is a great place to begin your 2017 list. Catch up with Iceland and Glaucous Gulls at the roosting areas just south of Three Sisters Islands; in 2008 a Ross's Gull showed up here. Even if the access to Three Sisters is closed due to icy walkways, you can easily scan these flocks from the shoreline opposite the parking area. The resident passerines forage in mixed species flocks along the water's edge and by the parking area where people put out seed. Check these flocks for uncommon wintering species such as Winter Wren, Yellow-rumped and Pine Warblers.

Waterfowl are still plentiful above and below The Falls. There is a nice little pull off along the Niagara Scenic Parkway between the north Grand Island Bridge and Niagara Falls SP, appropriately called Waterfowl Viewing Area. You may catch massive rafts of diving ducks here with scattered dabbling ducks mixed in. Uncommon species such as Black and Surf Scoter may be found amongst the hordes as well as the rarer King Eider; bring your scope.


The Buffalo Ornithological Society (BOS) has something to offer to anyone passionate about birds: from the backyard feeder- watcher, the avid lister or the environmental activist, to the dedicated citizen scientist or the professional ornithologist. Society activities include regular programs, field trips, intensive long-term bird counts, checklist and date guide development, varied research activities, and involvement in local conservation efforts. We invite you to join in the activities of the society!

 BOS Membership  

The Buffalo Ornithological Society, Inc. was established in 1929 to promote the study of the birds of the Niagara Frontier Region. Annual grants are awarded by the BOS to fund member-sponsored avian research projects. We are proud of our extensive scientific research databases, our continuing involvement in environmental and conservation activities that impact birds, and our promotion of the enjoyment of ornithology.

The BOS coverage area includes Western New York and parts of nearby Ontario, Canada. This region is rich in bird life with over 380 species and 25 recognizable subspecies of birds recorded. Explore our site to learn more about where to report and find birds, both regional specialties and rare visitors.


  Mark Your Calendar Now!

2017 NYS Birders Conference / NYSOA Annual Meeting
November 10-12, 2017

The Buffalo Ornithological Society is hard at work planning the 2017 NYS Birders Conference and NYSOA Annual Meeting. The conference will be held at the new Hilton Hotel right at the entrance to Niagara Falls State Park, November 10-12, 2017 (Veteran's Day weekend).

Why so late in the year? Because the birding is fabulous then! Waterfowl! Gulls! With possibilities for phalaropes, jaegers, and rare or lingering songbirds! You just never know!

Mark your calendar now and check back here for details in the months ahead.

More About the Conference 



  July 2017 Adirondack Travel Trip

Most of the details are in! I am excited to be offering a BOS Travel Trip this July to Adirondack State Park! We are hiring an ADK native, Joan Collins, to lead us on two of our three days in the park. Joan has an incredible ear and local knowledge of the birdlife. Target species include Gray Jay, Boreal Chickadee, Black-backed Woodpecker, Olive-sided Flycatcher and the rare and local, Bicknell's Thrush. This trip is limited to 20 participants. Please refer to the calendar for details.

  Rarity Roundup Night

Thanks to all who came out to attend the BOS meeting last night! It was wonderful seeing so many folks there! The Rarity Roundup was a fun part of last night's program. Thanks to Alan B for sharing his discovery of the Western Tanager in such an animated way! And thank you, Alec, for those delicious homemade chocolate chip cookies and to all who brought treats to share!

For anyone who missed last evening's presentation, the PowerPoint can be viewed here:

Rarity Roundup!  


  Upcoming Field Trips and Events

Several field trips, meetings, and events have recently been added to our calendar. Take a look and be sure to join us at a meeting or on one of our field trips!

Jan 27, 2017

Field Trip - Screech Owl Prowl

Details: (click for more info)

Leader: Tom Kerr (tkerr.buffaloaudubon@gmail.com)
Join Tom for a Friday evening owl prowl at the North Tonawanda Audubon Preserve. Meet at 6pm at the corner of Raymond Ave and Birch Street. Raymond is off Nash Road just south of the middle school. We will hike into the preserve in search of the local Screech Owls. Bring a flashlight. In the case of rain or heavy snow, this trip will be rescheduled so keep an eye on updates as schedule changes will be posted to the webpage.


Feb 08, 2017

Meeting - Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge Land Management Update

Details: (click for more info)

Wednesday, February 8th at 7PM: BOS Meeting in the Cummings Room of the Buffalo Museum of Science.

Madeline Prush, the Biological Science Technician for Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge, will present a general refuge update on how the land is managed.

Photo courtesy of ALLWNYNEWS.com



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